Activist Investors: Driving Change in Corporate America
Over the last 5 years, activist investors have shaken up boardrooms across corporate America. What does this mean for CEOs and shareholders alike? Who are these infamous activists and how do they truly operate? Are these activists our white knights, or usurpers who will leave the damsel in even more distress? To answer these questions, and more, we are bringing together a diverse group of activist investors, operators, and corporate attorneys to discuss their approach and what this means for the future of public companies.
Our panel includes:
Speaker and Moderator: Ryan J. Morris, CFA is an entrepreneur and activist investor who founded Meson Capital in February 2009. He has led, or been a board nominee for over a dozen activist campaigns since 2010 including leading three companies as Chairman of the Board. Ryan holds a B.S. and M.Eng. from Cornell University in Operations Research & Information Engineering. Much like a late stage venture capitalist, Ryan uses his engineering background to focus on business building and operationally improving small public companies.
Ryan will give a primer on activism and then moderate the discussion between Matt Hepler, Randall Steinmeyer, and John Lewis.
Matt Hepler is an activist investor and Partner at Marcato Capital. Prior to joining Marcato, Hepler served as a Managing Director at Relational Investors LLC & Partner at Red Mountain, leading both firm’s research and investment selection efforts. Prior to joining Relational in 2008, he spent six years as a Vice President in the investment banking division of Credit Suisse. He began his career as a senior analyst in the technology group at Robertson Stephens. Hepler holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Matt will address the sources of corporate inefficiency and how large companies improve capital allocation.
Randall Steinmeyer is a former securities broker who sat on the Board of Directors of the Hedge Fund Association and has served as a guest lecturer on the impact of corporate fraud and corporate governance in the USA, UK, EU, and Asia investment communities. For two decades he has served Counsel to Shareholder Activists, Pension Funds, and Hedge Funds in notable cases such as Enron, Dynegy, and Nasdaq Antitrust. He received a BS from the University of Southern California in 1993 and a J.D. degree, cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in 1996 - where he was a member of the Hamline Law Review.
Randall will offer direction on how to improve governance at companies that have dealt with fraud and scandal.
John Lewis, Founder and Managing Partner of Osmium Partners, LLC., is a small cap activist investor who currently sits on 2 boards. As an active investor, Osmium works privately and publicly, when warranted, to drive shareholder value. Prior to founding Osmium, Mr. Lewis was Director of Research at Retzer Capital and an Equity Research Analyst at Heartland Funds. He received a BA from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of San Francisco
John will explore the benefits of recurring revenue businesses and the challenges of improving operations at small companies.
Date, Time + Location
Wednesday, September 7th
Noon till 1:30 PM
235 Montgomery Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, Ca, 94104